[Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso] Episode 4: The End of the Beginning and the Beginning of the End

“Come on, let’s go on a journey.” – Miyazono Kaori

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Overall. Wow, what an emotionally intense episode after the setup in Episode 3. My palms started sweating and I almost cried when Kousei struggled and finally gave up on playing in the middle. It was the sort of thing you knew was coming, yet couldn’t help but be swept up in the moment anyways. Episode 4 was the like the epiphany that finally sparks after two years of struggle. We got our long-awaited Kaori-Kousei duet, Kousei’s return to the limelight, and a semi-success in overcoming his trauma. This is just a beginning for Kousei—technically he still can’t hear his own notes—but it seems to be the beginning of the end for Kaori. These two are polar opposites. Kousei is trapped while Kaori is free. Kousei is monotone while Kaori is colorful. Kousei is timid while Kaori is bold. It makes sense then that as Kousei waxes, Kaori wanes. People, “April will be ending soon.”

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[Light Novel] The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Review – It’s about the Journey, not the Destination

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The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor is a Korean light novel about a virtual reality massively multiplayer online role playing game (VRMMORPG) called Royal Road and the efforts of a poor but hard-working guy to become number 1 in the game and make real-life money in the process. The RPG aspects of this series very much resemble those of Sword Art Online, .hack, or Log Horizon, but unlike many of the other MMORPG stories out there, The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor (LMS) is more humorous and light-hearted. It’s a subtle difference, but it significantly changes the way you experience the story…

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[Log Horizon 2] Episode 4: The Real Housewives of Akihabara

Episode 4 is a couple days late due to weekend traveling, sorry folks…

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Overall. While Episode 3 was about getting stuff done, Episode 4 was an exhibit of horrors: the horrors of what can happen when too many girls are together for too long, the horrors of too many characters musing about romance, the horrors of Studio Deen’s truly atrocious art, etc. I am not sure how I feel about this episode because there are just too many mixed messages flung around, and the only thing flowing continuously through  Episode 3 seems to be Akatsuki’s depression, which is just sad [pathetic]. I supposed I should be excited that Shiroe has some deep plot to take over the world through flavor text or that stereotypical big bad wolf villain finally did something other than appear dramatically for two seconds…buuut, I think watching Akatsuki has eroded my own self-esteem and I need a few seconds. Pardon me.

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(Kdrama) Liar Game Episode 2: A Hint of Romance and of the Future

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Originally I planned to review and discuss the second episode of Liar Game in the same post as the first episode since they both aired in the same week, but there was too much to talk about to comfortably put into a single post. The second episode covers the release of Cha Woo-Jin from jail and how he helps Nam Da-Jung take back her money from her teacher, wrapping up the first round of the game.

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(KDrama) Liar Game Episode 1: Subtle Differences from JDrama and a More Rational Nao

Liar Game Episode 1

Being a fan of the Liar Game manga and Japanese drama, I went into watching the Korean adaptation with high hopes and high expectations. It has been a few days since the airing of the first two episodes, and I’m excited to say that both my hopes and expectations are still fairly high. The action-packed first episode starts off with a bang, and as the episode progresses, we gradually see familiar elements from the manga reveal themselves, oftentimes along with subtle twists that suggests the drama’s trajectory may not be as predictable as we might initially think.

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[Anime] Nodame Cantabile: The Seven No’s for a Great Romance Anime

I was so inspired by Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso that I went back and re-watched all three seasons of Nodame Cantabile, which in my opinion is one of the best music and romance animes of all time. Nodame Cantabile is about the developing relationship between Shinichi Chiaki, a perfectionist piano and violin genius who longs to become a conductor, and Noda Megumi (Nodame), a klutzy “loser” pianist who has a lot of hidden potential. Both music students in the same department at the same university, Chiaki and Nodame’s first unfortunate meeting leads them onto a path that changes their lives forever.

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[Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso] Episode 3: Engrish, Demonic Cat, and Terrifying Foreshadowing

“You exist inside a spring that can’t be replaced.” – Arima Kousei

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Overall. In Episode 3, plot moves forward and plot is foreshadowed. Kousei’s snail pace trauma recovery continues from Episode 2 (read review here) when he attended a classical music competition, to playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in a cafe and becoming Kaori’s accompanist in Episode 3. I want everything to be smooth sailing awesomeness from here on out, but I have a feeling that Kousei’s recovery will likely be one step forward, two steps back…aka, prepare for imminent breakdown in the next episode. Music and animation continues to be stunning, and we (maybe?) get a peek at something very, very scary—an idea of what the real lie in April is.

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Z-Kai: Cross Roads – How “SAT Classes” Lead to True Love

Z-Kai, a Japanese company that runs cram schools and correspondence courses for university-hopefuls, has made yet another unique commercial. For background, Z-Kai’s previous “meme” commercial portrayed a high schooler shouting from the river bank about his passion and eagerness to experience college life, only to be shut down coldly by the narrator who stated, “You can’t pass entrance exams only by motivation.”

Ignoring the illogicality and sheer commercialism of that last statement—I think we would all agree that using study aids and cram schools like Z-Kai is showing motivation—Z-Kai’s latest commercial has broken all boundaries. Now, not only will Z-Kai’s courses help you get into university, but it will also lead you to find your one true love. See for yourself:

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[Log Horizon 2] Episode 3: Raid Mechanics for the MMO Soul

NO GOOFING AROUND. E3 gets serious.

NO GOOFING OFF. E3 gets serious.

Overall. Episode 3 is pretty much a continuation of the plot setup in Episode 2 (read Episode 2 review). Shiroe & co. begin on the raid, while festivities still continue in Akihabara as the adventurers prepare for Christmas. Since Season 2 has begun, I don’t think festivities have ever stopped in Akihabara. The lone party pooper is Akatsuki, whose angst cloud just balloons even more with each episode. What happens when it pops?

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[Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso] Episode 2: Love Conspiracy, Music Heaven, and Nitpicking Mistakes

“My music…will it reach them?” – Miyazono Kaori

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Yes, it will.

Overall. Great follow-up to the first episode (read Episode One Review). In terms of plot, not much happened though – Episode Two is more of a setup episode, and builds up the hype for the season fantastically by giving you a taste of what is to come on all fronts—awesome music, superb animation, developing romance, and of course, the return to competition. Arima Kousei is slowly but surely getting pulled back into competitive piano and the “sports” genre aspect of Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso is already peeking out behind the curtain, something I suspected will happen since I first started noticing the anime’s similarity to Chihayafuru (aka Shigatsu won’t be a full-on romance anime like Nodame Cantabile). This suspicion is further supported by spoiler scenes in the opening sequence—a blond boy and black-haired girl playing the piano who will probably be set up as Kousei’s rivals.

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